Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Labor has officially lost my vote.

Let me explain this properly. As previously mentioned, I have been a Labor voter ever since I could vote. My Grandparents, and all relatives back to Federation have been Labor voters, due in part to their employment at the local Rail Yards, Dock Yards and other trade industries. My family have always been working class, hardworking union members throughout their years, finding comfort in the knowledge that the trade unions were there, fighting for their rights, conditions and safety.

In the past two years, however, Labor has seemed to have lost its way. Labor have been leaning further and further to the right, following the poll trends and the ‘easier options’, and not following their own principles. More and more often, Labor has been conceding to the Liberal view, either siding with the LNP’s decision to introduce mandatory Metadata collection and monitoring (even though the evidence shows that every country that has introduced these regulations are now either seeing their errors, or now having these regulations removed due to their inefficiency and exorbitant costs) Lowering their visionary standards (agreeing to a lower RET, meaning our Renewable Energy Target will be at an all-time, uninspiring level of around 5% by 2020 – Compared to China and America at 80% by 2050, and Denmark’s achievement of 140% a few months ago).

With all of this, I have been fooling myself, in the thoughts that “At least the Australian Labor Party (ALP) is not and “extreme” or “cruel” as the Liberal National Party (LNP) – at least I agree with many of ALP’s policies, compared to none of the LNP policies. This has now changed completely

Tonight, I have reached the decision to vote Greens for the first time at the next Federal election. I base this decision SOLELY on ALP’s decision to now adopt, or consider to adopt, the LNP policy of “Turning Back the Boats”. This decision is not a light decision, or even a decision that people may think ‘does not affect them’. This decision will affect every Australian at some point in their lives.

Allow me to clarify.

Using the field of music, I want to list some artists who were refugees. Bob Marley, Freddie Mercury, Gene Simmons, Angus & Malcolm Young, Bon Scott and Jimmy Barnes. Using these few names as an example, I want you to think of this.
Without Freddie Mercury, Queen may well have remained a garage band. All of the music that they created and inspired in others would be silent. Freddie’s roles as an ambassador for AIDS Awareness has potentially saved MILLIONS of lives.
Without Bob Marley, we would have missed out on the introduction to Reggae music into the mainstream. This would’ve stopped the progression to early forms of Punk & Ska. Marley also gave rise to other artists, such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Eric Clapton – not just covering his music, but embracing the soul of his music, and taking it to a different audience. Bob Marley also highlighted the dangers of smoking, dying of lung cancer at such a young age.
Without Gene Simmons, KISS would not have introduced us to GlamRock. A rock show would almost certainly be void of pyrotechnics and extravagant costumes.

Angus & Malcolm Young and Bon Scott, although not refugees, were migrants to Australia as part of the migrant wave of the 1950s. Jimmy Barnes was also a part of this wave. Without Australia’s acceptance of these kids, Australia would not have nurtured, and ultimately delivered these talents to the world.

I want you to imagine a world without the music of Queen, without mainstream Reggae or the larger-than-life presence of KISS. Imagine modern rock music without the influence of AC/DC. Music would be rather boring. Now think of everyone that relates to this music. The people that use a particular song to remember something good in their life. A song that perhaps has helped them get through a difficult time in their lives, marked a special occasion, a first kiss, the grieving of a loved one, or even an escape from the world and its nasty abuses. Without this music, where would these people be now?

Now I want you to think about the following names. Sigmund Freud, Dalai Lama, Albert Einstein, Ben Elton, Victor Hugo, Lord Maurice Saatchi, These names have all shaped the world for generations. Modern Psychology, Religious ideologies, Modern Theology, Quantum Physics, Atomic Energy, Relativity, Space Travel, Comedy, Musicals, TV Classics (The Young Ones, Bottom, etc) Classic Literature, and lastly on this list, Advertising.

All of these massive names were refugees.

Now, imagine what Australia is essentially turning around and punting back into the open seas. All of these modern discoveries. Talents that have essentially changed our lives in every sense, overlooked. Potentially being sent back to their deaths. This list does not include the many, many unsung heroes in our society. Surgeons, Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians, Business owners / employers, Athletes, Musicians, Artists, Actors, Activists and even the guy who makes your morning coffee. Every single one of these people could essentially change your day, or your life.

Now imagine that we are now essentially telling the world that, although we are a wealthy country, and managed to avoid the GFC, putting us in a position that was envied by every other OECD country around the world, although we have more than enough room for more people to live in this vast land, we are not only not accepting them, but we are stopping their boats in international waters and turning them back to face persecution, torture, rape and murder.

These human beings do not get on a boat for fun. They do not get on a boat to ‘jump the queue’. Many of them (98% at last estimate) choose this method of entry because they are fleeing in the dark of night. They are unable to get a visa or leave their country as they are fleeing the persecution of their government. They are fleeing imminent danger at the hands of political forces, police, military. Many of these people that I have personally met have left family – wives, children, babies, parents, siblings – because they simply could not bring them, risking their lives to get here and hopefully send for them when it was safe to do so. People have left infants, only to miss out on their formative years – having no contact apart from occasional phone-calls, never holding their children in their arms. This is not a decision that any parent would choose lightly.

Make no mistake, these policies are not “Turn Back the Boats”, rather, they are “Turn back the terrified, scared, inconsolable, injured, damaged, broken, depressed and desperate human beings.” It could also be said that we are turning away unknown prosperity, knowledge, wealth, intellect, skill, artistic talent and life-changing personalities that are the very wealth that Australia was built upon. Without immigration, Australia would be a very bland place (Imagine if since 1788, Australia remained a land of Irish and English convicts. We would have no Italian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Jewish, Nordic, or even Russian people living here. Imagine how boring and plain our choices of restaurants would be? Without Immigration, Australia loses its very identity. Australia would cease to be the vibrant, interesting, amazing, diverse country that has made it the envy of the rest of the world. We would lose our identity as an accepting nation.

“Turning Back the Boats” will have disastrous effects for Australia, and more importantly, it will put the human beings that are on these boats into potential harm.

I will not vote for a party that supports this view, and therefore, I will no longer vote for Labor, and I am aware of several hundred people who have these same views, and will no longer be voting for Labor. I suspect that there will be many tens of thousands of voters who would share these same views, measured against only a handful that will decide to vote ALP over LNP based on this single policy. If this policy is changed to be more accepting and humane, perhaps I will reconsider, however I could not sleep soundly at night, knowing that a vote from me assisted in allowing a party into power who knowingly sends innocent men, women and children back to a country that could essentially rape, torture or murder them, simply for being who they are.

well I know this post is well overdue, however its better late than never, I suppose! 🙂

Our honeymoon began on June 1st, with an early morning, rain-filled journey to Melbourne International Airport, bags in tow, and spirits undampened, regardless of the standard Melbourne wet season.

Once at the airport, tickets in hand, bags checked and dried off, we cleared customs and made our way onto our plane.
20 hours later, we landed flew in through the clouds at Los Angeles, seeing the far side of the Pacific Ocean for the first time, and coming in for a textbook landing at LAX.

Unfortunately there was not enough time to leave the terminal before our next flight, so it was a few hours of Starbucks drinking and people-watching before boarding our next flight direct to NYC.

After a very scenic flight through an almost clear sky, we came over New York, with amazing views of Manhattan and Brooklyn, before landing at JFK.

After check-in at the hotel, we headed around the corner to Times Square for dinner, and to take in some of the sights of Midtown Manhattan.

New York City is a place that is constantly changing, yet strangely familiar. Although it has been more than 3 years since we were last there, we were able to navigate the streets and subway system with ease, and rarely needed to consult with a map.

With a total of 2 weeks in NYC, we had plans of things to do, yet plenty of time to simply relax and enjoy the city, and all it has to offer.

During our time in New York, we did a mixture of typical tourist things, as well as some not-so touristy things… cycling around Manhattan, riding a train in torrential rain to see a movie at a downtown cinema, having lunch on a floating restaurant in the Manhattan River…

Amongst the many things we did in New York, (of which there are too many to mention!) We did some new things that have definitely made it to our highlights list.

Firstly, we headed to the 9/11 Memorial, which I must say, is rather eerie in that it is probably the quietest place in Manhattan. Nothing above a whisper could be heard beyond the tranquil sound of the flowing water into the footprints of the twin towers. The entire area seemed smaller than it did on television all those years ago, but with so many names and so much sadness attached to it. Security here is greater than we experienced at any airport. 2 metal detectors, an air particle scanner, police and security everywhere, sniffer dogs and long, daunting walks through narrow corridors, being watched on CCTV by what I would assume to be behavioural specialists.

We headed to the Court district to view some cases. I never really thought that this would be as entertaining as it turned out to be! We first went to the Surrogates Court and heard small matters like petty theft and minor assaults etc. Then we went to the Arraignment Court to hear people being granted or denied bail. Then, over to the Supreme Court, where the lawyers were having a rather large party in the foyer area for National Lawyer Day, which meant free food for all (how could I refuse?).

We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, which was a rewarding experience, if only to say we had done it. Such a wonderful, old bridge, and still going strong! Once on the other side in Brooklyn, we wandered about a bit, checked out a gorgeous Ferris Wheel in Dumbo, got a bite to eat at a very small local deli, and then discovered one of the Pianos in Public Places on the waterfront. As we got there, a classical dup were performing for a photographer, so we had a free concert just for two. Once we walked back over the bridge we parted ways. I was eager to walk the 60 blocks to the hotel, and take in the city, but Catherine decided to ride the subway and get back to relax a bit. So, 45 minutes later, I caught up with her at the hotel and we headed out for Lunch and a Museum.

We hired bicycles and rode the length and width of Central Park. The park is full of bike trails, and during the day on weekdays, most roads are closed to traffic, meaning pedestrians and bikes have the reign. The park is simply huge on a massive scale! Even with minimal stops, and no traffic, it took us about 90 minutes to return to the starting point. We saw 4 lakes, 3 cliff faces, a reservoir, a castle (Smurfs Movie), a boathouse, fountains, bridges (Home Alone 2), and so much green! This park is indeed the heartbeat of the city, sustaining the sanity of so many residents who spend their lunches with their shoes off, sunning on any available surface.

We had the bikes for 6 hours, so instead of returning them and losing our money, I suggested we ride down and around the financial district. There are bike tracks everywhere, so we only needed about 5 minutes of road cycling in the entire journey. We headed through Hells Kitchen and down along the banks of the Manhattan River, passing a retired aircraft carrier that is moored as a museum ship, before reaching the financial district, where we lost the bike trail. After a little confusion we found the track again, and with a few more corners, we arrived at Clinton Park, looking across to the Statue of Liberty (Closed, due to damage sustained from Hurricane Sandy). After a small break and an ice-cream, we headed along the trail and up along the East River, heading back to the hotel area on 49th Street. Once we got to around 38th-40th Street, the bike trail ended and became a bike lane on the busy Manhattan roads in afternoon peak hour. Onwards we went, passing the UN Building and turning left along 50th Street (Most streets are one way, so each opposing street goes in the opposite direction). Crossing Lexington Ave and 5th Ave, we eventually got to Broadway. We turned left, then back onto 49th Street, returning the bikes with 20 minutes to spare. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but Catherine seemed a bit shaken from the craziness of the traffic.

We dressed to the nines, suit and tie for myself, gorgeous dress for Catherine, and headed through Times Square to a small, underground Jazz Club to see Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks perform. Vince and the Nighthawks are responsible for the music heard in Boardwalk Empire, as well as a few other productions whose names escape me. After a lovely meal and a few drinks, we were up and dancing to Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade; a slow song, but an amazing experience to dance to this in New York, with a live band playing right beside you. Vince was lovely, we had a bit of a chat with him, and as soon as he realised we were on our Honeymoon, he gifted us two of his albums, which have been getting plenty of play back here in Australia.

We saw Paul McCartney perform at Barclay’s Stadium in Brooklyn!
What can be said? The man is 72 years old, and still pitch perfect. He puts live performance at a whole new level, and its a level that I don’t think anyone could match. Seeing an ex-Beatle perform has long been a dream of mine, so having seats in the nosebleed section didn’t faze me in the slightest. Neither did singing along like a music geek to around 3 hours of hit after hit after hit. With such a huge catalog of music to draw from, there was not a single song that left the crowd in their seats.

SET LIST

    1. Eight Days a Week
    2. Junior’s Farm
    3. All My Loving
    4. Listen to What the Man Said
    5. Let Me Roll It (“Foxy Lady” snippet)
    6. Paperback Writer
    7. My Valentine
    8. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
    9. The Long and Winding Road
    10. Maybe I’m Amazed
    11. I’ve Just Seen a Face
    12. We Can Work It Out
    13. Another Day
    14. And I Love Her
    15. Blackbird
    16. Here Today
    17. Your Mother Should Know
    18. Lady Madonna
    19. All Together Now
    20. Lovely Rita
    21. Mrs. Vandebilt
    22. Eleanor Rigby
    23. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
    24. Something
    25. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
    26. Band on the Run
    27. Back in the U.S.S.R.
    28. Let It Be
    29. Live and Let Die
    30. Hey Jude

      Encore:

    31. Day Tripper
    32. Hi, Hi, Hi
    33. Get Back

      Encore 2:

    34. Yesterday
      Helter Skelter
    35. Golden Slumbers
    36. Carry That Weight
    37. The End

The next morning, we headed up into Harlem to experience one of their church services. After a bit of shuffling between churches, we found a service that had some room for visitors, and we headed in. Everyone was simply lovely, saying hello, shaking our hand and making us feel welcome. Some of the parish children performed a few songs which blew us away. Amazing talent! Vocals and violins were all sounding simply spectacular.

We decided one evening to go and watch The Great Gatsby in New York City, as it was based here, so would be fun to see it here! Well, after much confusion on the location of the Cinema (most are independent, and hard to really work out what is playing where), and of course the downpour of more NYC Rain (Seriously, the raindrops here don’t fall, they punch you in the head, repeatedly!) we found the Cinema near Union Square. we were saturated and cold, but after buying a not-so-small inventory at the candy bar, we headed into the film. Seats as big as a couch (American sized!) we watched the film… Not as “Great” as people were saying, but I have seen worse… Afterwards, another rain-punched dash for the subway and back to the hotel to change.

Catherine wine two tickets in the ballot system to see “The Book of Mormon”,  which was written by Matt & Trey: creators of South Park. Imagine a 2 hour episode of South Park, focussed on delivering the smack down to the Mormons, add in many songs that do the same, and you can get an idea of this show. It was rather funny, and from our position (Front row, dead centre!) we definitely saw the show! This show has been booked out for up to a year in advance, so getting tickets was simply unbelievable! The fact it was playing next door to our hotel was also rather handy. 😉

After our two weeks in New York City (My self-proclaimed home away from home – I simply love it there!) we headed to Hawaii for 5 days. Not even close to long enough!

We had hired a car, so once we had that in our possession, we braved the highways (and the “Interstate” – think about that for a moment!!) and headed up the coast for some sightseeing. We visited one mountainside that has been in about 15 movies, ranging from Godzilla and Jurassic Park, to Pearl Harbor and episodes of Lost. It is simply amazing that these places still exist, looking almost untouched by humans, yet surrounded by farms and houses!

Snorkelling was on the list of things we must do, so we headed to a tourist snorkelling beach (Pay $1 and access all day). We had our own gear with us, so didn’t get stung by the hire costs. I have NEVER seen so many brightly coloured fish outside of a tropical fish store! All were rather tame, some even coming right up to investigate my camera! of course there was also a wide variety of corals and seaweeds, brightening up the ocean floor, and becoming the perfect backdrop for the occasion. The highlight of course was when we came across a Green Sea Turtle! He decided to swim next to us for a while, then slowly moved along and out to Sea. I later saw him diving for his lunch, getting many photos as I swam alongside him. Such amazing creatures!

Of course, we had to attend a Luau, and arranged a pickup from the hotel (which was free and gave us free drink cards!) we headed out to the site. It was rather touristy (as expected) but was an amazing experience. The staff at Germaine’s Luau were lovely, and the food put out was simply perfect! The meat was so tender, you could almost drink it, and all were encouraged to “Eat until it hurts!” The show itself was rather interesting, as they did a dance from each Polynesian island, from New Zealand and Fiji, to of course Hawaii. We met some friendly Texans on our table who were asking us a million questions about Australia, which was fun, and we ended up getting rather tipsy on the cocktails as we chatted with them.

Another bus ride, and off to Pearl Harbor. As this is an active Military base, the whole procedure was rather complicated. Stand here, No bags allowed, No Camera Bags allowed, No photography in this area, etc. We headed to the memorial, which involved a boat ride, escorted by Marines, and no more than 10 minutes at the memorial before returning to land. The memorial is positioned directly over the USS Arizona, with sections of the ship still visible. The ship, although sunk in 1941, is still leaking oil into the water, with small slicks still visible.
As part of the tour, we were also escorted across the base to the USS Missouri, which is the ship that the World War 2 Cease Fire was signed upon. This ship served in WW2, Korean, Vietnam and even Gulf War 1 before being decommissioned in the mid 1990s. We were allowed to explore many areas of the ship unescorted, but other areas were obviously off-limits.

Our last night in Hawaii was spent on the beach in Honolulu, near the hotel. We had dinner and watched the sunset across from the Volcanic Crater, lighting up the Pacific Ocean.

Hawaii is such a lovely place, but needs more time to fully experience it. I hope we can return to both locations some day soon.

 

So, out of pure luck and circumstance, we saw Paul McCartney perform live in Brooklyn, NY…!!!
By pure chance, in the small window of time we spent in New York City for our honeymoon in June, it so happened that Paul was performing on his “Out There!” World Tour. So, as if our honeymoon in New York and Hawaii was not going to be memorable enough, we saw a Beatle perform some of his best compositions in a 3 hour set, including 2 encores.

The set list performed was as follows:

  1. Eight Days a Week (Beatles song)
  2. Junior’s Farm (Wings song)
  3. All My Loving (Beatles song)
  4. Listen to What the Man Said (Wings song)
  5. Let Me Roll It (Wings song) (“Foxy Lady” snippet)
  6. Paperback Writer (Beatles song)
  7. My Valentine Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (Wings song)
  8. The Long and Winding Road (Beatles song)
  9. Maybe I’m Amazed
  10. I’ve Just Seen a Face (Beatles song)
  11. We Can Work It Out (Beatles song)
  12. Another Day
  13. And I Love Her (Beatles song)
  14. Blackbird (Beatles song)
  15. Here Today
  16. Your Mother Should Know (Beatles song)
  17. Lady Madonna (Beatles song)
  18. All Together Now (Beatles song)
  19. Lovely Rita (Beatles song)
  20. Mrs. Vandebilt (Wings song)
  21. Eleanor Rigby (Beatles song)
  22. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (Beatles song)
  23. Something (Beatles song)
  24. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Beatles song)
  25. Band on the Run (Wings song)
  26. Back in the U.S.S.R. (Beatles song)
  27. Let It Be (Beatles song)
  28. Live and Let Die (Wings song)
  29. Hey Jude (Beatles song)
    Encore 1:
  30. Day Tripper (The Beatles song)
  31. Hi, Hi, Hi (Wings song)
  32. Get Back (The Beatles song)
    Encore 2:
  33. Yesterday (The Beatles song)
  34. Helter Skelter (The Beatles song)
  35. Golden Slumbers (The Beatles song)
  36. Carry That Weight (The Beatles song)
  37. The End (The Beatles song)

Not only did Paul not break a sweat, he was flawless… not a single note played incorrectly or sang flat or sharp. Paul was faultless and pitch perfect. All of this was only a few days before his 70th birthday, so performing in front of large audiences is clearly in his veins.
This was an event that will remain with me for the rest of my days.

A little over a week ago now, my gorgeous Fiancé and I finally got married.

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It has been almost 12 years in the making, and many sleepless nights over the past 9 months spent organising, planning and constructing the various parts of the ceremony and reception.

But now, it is all over! Of course in this context, over is a good thing. We are finally married, and beginning our lives together.

And what a day!

For myself and my best man Nathan, the day began with a nice relaxing swim at the local beach in Williamstown. This was on my insistence, as swimming at the beach always relaxes me, and this was one day that we both needed to relax and enjoy the day.
From the beach, it was home again for a mud-mask (yes, working at Garnier has changed me!). We both applied a mask, turned up the tunes and poured a Bourbon. Before we knew it, the cars had arrived! I was still walking around in little more than a towel, so it was clearly time to get dressed!

We had two of the best GT Falcons I have seen in a long time, courtesy of my old design buddy Lee and his Brother Ricky. We took a cruise via the beach for some fresh air, before arriving at the church about 30 minutes early.

After greeting some friends and family, it was time for everything to begin.

The music began with “Kate Miller-Heidke – Starlings” which had people take their seats, in waiting for the arrival of the Bride. As planned, “Starlings” led into “George Harrison – Something”; The perfect love song, and such a fitting song for my gorgeous bride to walk down the aisle.

 

 

About half-way into the song, I turned to witness the most beautiful bride I have ever seen in my life; and she was walking toward me!

Catherine looked stunning! her dress was simply gorgeous, I couldn’t take my eyes off my bride-to-be. She was more beautiful at that moment than I have ever seen her before, in all of our years together.

The ceremony went as planned, no one passed out, tripped, caused embarrassment or any other horror stories that usually make their way to YouTube.

We left the church to “Squirrel Nut Zippers – The Suits Are Picking Up The Bill”; a great dixieland-esque track that we thought fitting for a celebration.

From the church, it was off for 3 hours of photography.
Photos started at the Williamstown Gardens, with some amazing locations within the grounds, including the main wrought-iron gate, which makes such an amazing backdrop for photography! From the Gardens, it was off to the spot where I proposed to Catherine, way back on May 22nd, 2012. It was a little strange being so dressed-up at hte local beach on a day as warm as it was.

Swimsuits and board-shorts were all around us, yet we were dressed to the nines in our finest outfits.

We had some more shots along the waterfront in Williamstown, overlooking the city, as well as at the Timeball Tower.
Before we knew it, it was time to head to the reception.

Seeing so many of our friends and family, some who had travelled from interstate simply to attend our special day was such a surreal moment, but knowing that tonight, we were the guests of honour; that was a true mind-bender! I for one am not used to being the centre of attention, much less applauded for entering a venue with my stunning bride.

There was much laughing, conversation and festivity. The music was well-received, with some interesting dancing on the dance floor.

The room looked amazing! Our wonderful Florist did an amazing job with the flowers for the tables, setting everything up and making the room look simply amazing. All of this, on top of the Bridal Bouquet, Buttonholes for the guys, and a corsage for each of the Mothers… simply an amazing Woman! Thank you Sue-Ellen!

Everyone had a great evening of delicious food, copious drinking, laughter, dancing, wonderful views across the bay to the city skyline, a perfect sunset and some excellent music from our resident DJ, Owen Mitchell.

All too soon, however, the evening was winding up to a close!
We managed to squeeze in the required speeches, including the Father of The Bride, Matron of Honour, Best Man (Including a musical number – video to follow!), as well as our speeches to thank everyone for all of their work, efforts and friendship over the years.

The bouquet and garter throws were next, with our friends Nicole and Shaun catching them. Their wedding will be in 5 weeks, so they didn’t waste any time! 😉

The car arrived to sweep us away, with the Theme from Love Boat played to see us off. We said our final farewells and jumped into the car, before taking the scenic route along the waterfront, en route to the honeymoon suite at “The Captain’s Retreat” in Williamstown.

What an amazing day! in some parts, it seemed like it flew by, but in others, it was such an emotional, fun-filled, action-packed day; and one that neither of us will forget any time soon.
Married!

 

More copyright infringements…?!

Posted: February 9, 2013 in Art, Movies, Music, Rant, Work

hi guys

yes its been a while since I have written in here, but that’s what happens when planning a wedding!

rather than give a huge spiel on the process of planning a wedding (that’s coming later, don’t worry!) I wanted to rant for a change about ‘copyright infringements’.
yet again I have been threatened with legal action over my own artwork, as it contains celebrities. How is it that if I draw something myself, with a pencil on paper, in my own house, that I can then be subject to criminal proceedings when it resembles a celebrity? (A dead celebrity, at that!)

Music is a major part in my life, and the people who have created it are my idols. Drawings done by fans should not be frowned upon! obviously if I was printing up hundreds of t-shirts and selling them for a huge profit, I would understand that; but I have placed them on redbubble, they have been there for well over a year, and I have sold perhaps 2 greeting cards of each picture.

A grand profit of about .39cents.

By all means, pass on your account details, and I will give you 50%!

below are the images that have now been removed. I for one do not think they are super-great, but hardly a threat to the Queen empire or the Morrison Hotel chain…

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These two drawings now raise my currently banned list of drawings to 5. Considering some of the blatant copyright infringements out there in the world, I hardly think fan-art is a major threat to these industries, in fact, it can act as an advertising tool in their favour. If I have a poster printed of my artwork hanging up in my house, and a group of friends come over and question it, I would tell them about the movie or band.

I actually had a friend a few weeks ago admit sheepishly that he had not seen Star Wars before… ever!

This fact came up when he saw a drawing of my artwork showing Chewbacca (see here for the post about THAT one being banned)
He asked about what Chewbacca was, I told him, he admitted never seeing the films, and after a bit of persuasion, he has now purchased the box set.

So, Lucas Films, I expect a cut for my advertising of your films to the uneducated. Inbox me for payment details, and we can call it even.

Deal?

Building the Hofner Violin Beatles Bass – YouTube.

via Building the Hofner Violin Beatles Bass – YouTube.

 

I Wantz!

Over the past week, I have been organising my Nan’s funeral, which has included almost every single step of her farewell from this mortal existance, and a well-deserved send-off to the next stage of her life.

Nan has been a wonderful influence on me growing up, and has been there at every milestone in my life so far. My first day at Kindergarten, my first car, my first love, my first job, building my first guitars, seeing me graduate music in high school, going on to art school and seeing me get work in the art industry. She was always interested in my work, and loved seeing my latest drawings or paintings, or even popping out into the shed to see a guitar being built.
She seemed proud that I had picked up a musical talent from her, as well as a love for building furniture or other items from her late husband, Harry. Coming from the depression years, when people either ‘made-do’ with what they had, or built their own from whatever they had, she was always interested to see me assembling my latest guitar in her lounge room, usually sprawled out on the floor with a collection of random screwdrivers and tools. Although she probably didn’t understand what I was doing, she loved seeing it evolving, and becoming something familiar.

So it was only fitting that I write her a proper Eulogy for her send-off, and make it known to all who attended the service exactly what my Nan meant to me, and to many others in her life.
Below is a copy of my Eulogy, which was read by Father Micheal Richardson on my behalf, due to my emotional state on the day.

EULOGY

My Nan, Mary Bell, was a good person.
Nan was the third of nine children, with her two older siblings dying in infancy.
In order, there was Norma, William, Mary, Wilma, Louis, Kathy, Gladys, Edgar and Carmel.

Growing up, Nan was the eldest child in the house, which made her the one to worry the most. This trait followed her through her whole life. Even as an adult, Nan would sit up in bed reading, often
until 2am, waiting for me to come home from night-shift, so that she could sleep soundly.
Nan has told me many stories about her younger life. From the early times when all seven children would be sleeping in a single bedroom on the floor on mattresses in a house on Verdon Street, to the
time when her brother Louis, after being told to take his harmonica playing away from Nan and Wilma, flew past them after falling off the verandah roof.

Nan loved her music, which played a big part in her life.
Nan learned music at the local convent; being taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph at a young age. By the age of 13 she was graduating from the London College of Music.
She enjoyed playing the organ here in St Mary’s, and anywhere else that had arranged for her to play. To put things into perspective for the younger people here, Nan was playing the organ here before there was electricity in the church. These days it is electric, but back then, it required a bellows to power the organ. Nan’s younger brother Edgar usually had the task of pumping the bellows, as Nan would gracefully play the hymns for the congregation.
With their father William as the Choir Master, this was truly a family event.

Nan started playing this organ when she was 15, only meaning to play a few weeks, due to the organist of the day being ill. This ‘few weeks’ turned into 75 years of music, from the 8:30 mass, occasionally the 10am mass, most weddings, funerals, communions, and many other events in the parish.
When I was a little boy, my Nan would sometimes pick me up from kinder, up on Ferguson St, and walk me down to Nelson Brothers a few doors down, as she had a Funeral booked in. I would sit with her at the organ as she played, listening to her music, as strangers were grieving around me. I think over the years Nan would’ve taken me to well over 200 funerals with her.
I rarely got to attend the weddings though.

More than once I saw someone insist on paying Nan for her services. Nan usually refused, but some people insisted. As soon as they were out of sight, Nan would always place the money in the coin
boxes located at each door. Nan was happy to share her gift with anyone who would want to hear her play, and never saw it as a job to earn money from.

A few years ago, I took Nan into the City to St Patrick’s Cathedral for a Centacare mass, being headlined by the Archbishop himself. Afterwards, I said to her that we should go up to the organ
and have a look, and maybe get a few photos. When we got there, the organist was just locking it up for the evening.
I thought it best to ask permission to take photos, and introduced him to Nan. He thought he recognised the name, and once I told him that Nan was the organist at St Mary’s, he said “Well I’m not letting such a wonderful organist have photos without the organ being unlocked and powered up!” so he proceeded to unlock it again, and power it up.
He then gave Nan every Christmas present at once, when he said “Why don’t you play us a song, Mrs. Bell?”
The smile on her face could not have gotten any wider! Without preparation, music or even previous experience on such a large Pipe-Organ, she proceeded to play an old classic that I had never heard of. The priest of the Cathedral hurried over and said “I haven’t heard that one in over 40 years!” And proceeded to sing softly to himself. “He then told the organist to get a copy of this music, before realising Nan was doing this without music, and simply from memory.

Nan had never dreamed of being able to play in a Cathedral, but she was so glad that she had, and for the first time ever in my life, I saw her brag to people, and showing the photos around at church.
Throughout her life, Nan has faced many hardships and tough times, but she always came through them with the help of her family, friends and support networks.

For many years, Nan and her husband Harry would be regular workers at the Stella Maris Club in Lt. Collins St. Usually, they would work in the souvenir shop, meeting and greeting many seafarers from all around the world. She would often have chats with them about where they were from, and the hardships of their home countries. Nan was always wanting to help others, and have a better understanding of what was going on in the world.
I was recently on a seafarers forum, searching for someone from way back. Once I mentioned the Stella Maris on there, people replied with happy, wonderful memories of coming into port, and being able to go somewhere to relax that felt like a home. One mentioned Nan by name, asking me how Mrs Bell in the little shop was doing; so Nan has touched the lives of more people than I could even imagine.
Nan had only one child, Mary, my Mum, who she loved very much, as you can see in the photos showing on the walls. Later, she was gifted with three Grandchildren. My sisters, Brigid and Cathryn, and myself,… her favourite grandson by default. She cared for us as she would with her own child. She cooked delicious meals, took us to the city for movies, or the Myer windows, and occasionally snuck us lollies or chocolates from her secret stash.

If you turn to the back page of your Order of Service, I would like to explain this drawing, which I have drawn over the weekend

I was always happy to hold Nan’s hands, and she loved it too, as I was usually quite a bit warmer than her, so she got a free hand-warmer out of it too.

With these hands, my Nan has helped for her siblings, raised my Mother, cooked, cleaned, sewn, knitted and said goodbye to loved ones.
With these hands, my Nan has helped my Mother raise her three children, cared for us, as well as our extended families both here and interstate.
With these hands, my Nan has played the Organ for hundreds of Weddings, Communions, Funerals, and other events… touching thousands of people’s lives in the local community.
With these hands, my Nan has held my hand when I was scared or worried, and in more recent times, when she was scared or afraid of the unfamiliar things going on around her.
With these hands…

With These Hands...

With These Hands…

Mary Josephine Bell – 25.03.1917 ~ 27.06.2012